Osteocytes comprise more than 90% of the cells in bone and are differentiated from osteoblasts via an unknown mechanism. Recently, it was shown that Notch signaling plays an important role in osteocyte functions. To gain insights into the mechanisms underlying the functions of Notch in regulating the transition of osteoblasts to osteocytes, we performed a luciferase assay by cloning the proximal E11 and dentin matrix acidic phosphoprotein 1 (DMP1) promotor regions into pGluc-Basic 2 vectors, which were subsequently transfected into the IDG-SW3 (osteocytes), MC3T3 (osteoblasts) and 293T (non-osteoblastic cells) cell lines. Two approaches were used to activate Notch signaling in vitro. One was a Notch1 extracellular antibody-coated cell culture plate, and the other was transfection of a Hairy/Enhancer of Split 1 (Hes1) overexpression vector. The interaction between the Notch and Wnt signaling pathways was probed by assessing the expression of a series of phosphorylated proteins involved in the cascade of both signaling pathways. Our data suggested that Notch signaling regulates E11 expression through Hes1 activity, while Hes1 solely did not initiate the expression of DMP1. The regulatory function of E11 by Hes1 was not observed in the 293T cell line, indicating a cell context-dependent manner of the Notch signaling pathway. Additionally, we found that Notch inhibited Wnt signaling at the late differentiation stage of osteocytes by both directly repressing phosphorylated Akt and preventing the nuclear aggregation of β-catenin. These findings provide profound understandings of Notch's regulatory function in osteocyte differentiation.
Bone – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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